Former Foster Mom Arrested In Connection With Child's Death

Date: 2009-09-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A former Kern County foster mother who was once suspected in the death of a foster baby has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her adoptive child near Sacramento.

Sabrina Banks, formerly known as Sabrina Stafford was arrested in Visalia for the May 2008 death of her 3-year-old adopted daughter, Lavender Banks.

Elk Grove police said Banks called 911 and said the child wasn't breathing.

Paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.

Sacramento County’s Coroner said Lavender died from asphyxia by smothering and multiple blunt force injuries.

In 2003, Banks was arrested in southwest Bakersfield after she called 911 to say one of the twin babies she was fostering wasn't breathing.

The baby, 3-month-old Angelic, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other twin, Tiffany, was taken to a nearby hospital with a temperature of 104 degrees, and was found to be malnourished and dehydrated, police said.

Banks was arrested and charged with two counts of felony willful child neglect.

Deputy district attorney Scott Spielman said, during that time, the county forensic pediatrician looked at the toxicology findings and the results were inconclusive as to whether Banks was responsible.

All charges were dropped.

Spielman said the DA is now going to forward the case back to the Bakersfield Police Department and contact police in Elk Grove to see if they can assist each other in their cases, and possibly re-file charges in Kern County for Angelic's death.


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